Robotic Process Automation – An Introduction

Robotic Process Automation is a very trendy and promising technology nowadays. It is used to automate the normal business process by using different software robots. A vast amount of data is manipulated through these software robots alongside the interaction with other integrated systems.    

Through automation software, scripting languages are used to automate the series of actions and built in APIs are consumed to coordinate with systems. On the other hand, in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) it uses Robots to automate the tasks which were done by humans previously. Robots are used to simulate human interactive behavior with applications like clicks or typing patterns to achieve desired results.  

What is Bot and Types of Robotic Process Automation 

So, what is “Bot” or “Robot” in RPA? We can define it simply by saying it is a software program that performs repetitive tasks.  

They are trained (programmed) in a way to perform any sequence of steps by themselves (unattended RPA Bots) or help the workforce on demand (attended bots) or Hybrid bots which use unattended and attended bots in combination. Major tasks for a bot in RPA is to move data into integrated systems.   

Difference between RPA and Automation 

Now, the question arises that how RPA is different from traditional automation? To answer this, we will further elaborate these two techniques.  

In conventional automation, a code must be written in scripted format which would instruct the application to communicate with some other module or component of the application through some medium. APIs are available to establish that communication channel but sometimes APIs are not available for each task that you are intended to perform. Hence, for connection establishment, significant IT effort and resources are required. 

RPA bots work exactly how humans interact with the user interface of system, making it different from conventional automation. RPA bots are front end operators, which means that no coding or APIs are needed to perform the operations. The risks of manual errors are removed using RPA. It is process driven and focuses on improving the processes to improve the value.  

Conventional automation is cheaper during the early stages of development, but in the long run maintenance costs pile up making it more expensive than the RPA which is a bit costly at the early stages. RPA is a bit costly initially, but once it is established, it has low maintenance cost due to less time and effort in terms of resources, making it a cheaper option. Conventional automation requires feasibility tests and thorough system analysis; thus, its implementation takes a relatively longer period compared to RPA. Programming skills are mandatory for automation while programmable RPA only requires programmers who can just code the instructions. For No-Code RPA only understanding of system functionality is required, as it includes the flow charts. In conventional automation, for parallel execution and scalability, programming is obligatory and physical machines are required meanwhile in RPA, users can assign the tasks to virtual machines.  

QA, with services like functional testing or performance testing is achieved through conventional automation on software applications, while RPA coordinates within different modules like HR, Data Entry, Email, Invoicing, making it more business centric.  

Benefits of Robotic Process Automation 

Advantages of RPA are revealed when management plans to run it for a longer period.  

  • It is very cost-effective in terms of being easily scalable and doesn’t disrupt the business processes. Some studies have shown that it reduced the cost by 80%, and positive ROI was achieved within a year.  
  • As RPA Bots are Bots and Software, the precision level is very high, eliminating the human factors of fatigue, confusion, drowsiness, and delay. They just follow the instructions given and comply with those.  
  • As RPA strictly follows the instructions, this makes it more reliable.  
  • Cycle time is reduced, and throughput is increased. They run 24/7 to ensure immediate action whenever required.  
  • Since each step is traceable, exhaustive data is captured from every step that can be reviewed and used for further process improvement and strategical decision-making.  

BOLDParser – Invoice RPA 

AlphaBOLD’s advanced AI solution, BOLDParser, for invoice processing also uses RPA to extract data fields from invoices to create corresponding transactions in the relevant business application. 

BOLDParser is a one-stop AI solution to all invoice management needs as it reduces manual intervention in the invoice management process. Furthermore, it helps companies deal with time wastage, human errors, and demotivation due to tedious tasks. Additionally, since BOLDParser is built using Artificial Intelligence invoice automation, it can be trained on non-compliant formats. If you would like to know more about BOLDParser, please watch the video below: 

Conclusion 

RPA is quite fashionable and the most talked about nowadays, so it has started to draw attention. Businesses were reluctant to adopt that at first because of obvious reasons such as discouraging attitude from the employees and mindset in general, but since they have now analyzed its impact and benefits stated above, so now they are implementing it. 

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